For the past couple of weeks I have been writing on Facebook and Twitter about the importance of Omega-3s in our diet.
Let me start by giving a little background on Omega-3s. Omega-3s are what is known as an essential fatty acid. Essential Fatty Acids are necessary for our body to function normally, but must be consumed from outside sources. In other words, our body doesn’t make them and without an outside source (e.g., fish, algae, flax), the membranes of our cells become faulty, plasma cholesterol isn’t reduced as effectively, and we become more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, coronary thrombosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, hypertension and certain forms of malignant disease (Essential Fatty Acids in Perspective). Omega-3s can also help with depressions, fatigue, concentration, and brittle hair.
The moral of the story here is that Omega-3s are a must have in your diet. Now here comes the tricky part, Omega-3s are best absorbed from animal products such as salmon, cod, and grass-fed beef. These animal forms of Omega-3s can be divided into DHA and EPA. Both DHA and EPA are readily recognized by the body and absorbed. There are other, non-animal, sources of Omega-3s as well. These plant-based Omega-3s are great for vegetarians or vegans, however, their make-up is slightly different. They have a form of Omega-3 called ALA. In order for the body to use ALA it must be converted into DHA and EPA. This is hard for the body to do and consequently, only about 5% of the ALA you consume through foods like flax seeds are converted to usable DHA/EPA. (Top 10 Foods High in Omega-3)
Think about how much fish you eat in one week. Just a small 3-oz serving of Wild Alaskan King Salmon has over 1500mg of Omega-3s (Omega-3 Levels). The recommended daily dose of Omega-3s is about 1g (1000mg) for proactive support (Dosing Recommendations). When you eat salmon, or any other fish, you are probably consuming a 6-oz serving. That means in one 6-oz serving of Wild Alaskan King Salmon you are getting enough Omega-3s to last you 2-3 days. If you consume 3 6-oz servings of Wild Alaskan King Salmon per week you will be getting approximately 9g (9000mg) of Omega-3s. This is an ideal amount for the week. Now, have you looked at the price of Wild Alaskan King Salmon recently? In season it runs around $28/pound. My guess is that you probably aren’t consuming 6 ounces three times a week at those prices.
So, what is the next best thing? A high quality fish oil supplement. I have taken different fish oil supplements over the years and have been really impressed with Nordic Naturals supplements. Many companies out there tout an “anti-fish burp coating” or an “enteric coating”. This coating on the outside of the softgel is designed to minimize the release of the oil into your system until the softgel has traveled further into your digestive tract. The hope is that you won’t have the yucky fish burps all day because the supplement is too far away from your mouth. Sounds great, right? Here is the secret that most companies don’t want to tell you. Those fish burps occur because a poor quality fish oil, possibly a rancid fish oil is being used in the supplement. It is a case of, you get what you pay for. Would you buy cheap fish that smelled funny? Probably not! Why would you want to take a fish oil supplement that is made from cheap, smelly fish?
Nordic Naturals uses a high quality fish and process to make their fish oil supplements. They doesn’t use this coating. In fact, I have bitten into my fish oil supplement from Nordic Naturals on many occasions and it tastes like I took a bite of fresh fish. If you have fish oil in your cabinet, give it the bite test. What do you taste when you bite into the softgel? What do you smell? If the oil smells funny, causes fish burp all day, or tastes odd – this is a sign of poor quality or rancid oil. This is more common than you think because the USA doesn’t regulate fish oil quality the way it should. Keep in mind that rancid oil can lead to an increase in free radicals floating through your body. Do your research!
Know what else I like about Nordic Naturals? They do something pretty unique when creating their fish oil. Omega-3s are found in a triglyceride form. The triglyceride form is easily recognized by the human body and consists of a saturated fat, a monounsaturated fat, and a polyunsaturated fat molecule bound together by a glycerol molecule. In order to concentrate the fish oil this triglyceride has to be broken apart. This is the industry standard. Ethyl ester is used to break apart the triglyceride so that the fish oil can be concentrated (which means you only have to take 2 softgels instead of a whole pile of them each day). Most companies leave the triglyceride broken apart. Nordic Naturals puts the triglyceride back together so that the body can make the most of the oil you are consuming. Supplements that list ethyl ester in the ingredient list have not had their triglyceride put back together. The research shows that up to 70% more of the Omega-3s in this natural triglyceride form are absorbed compared to the ethyl ester form. Check the ingredient list on your fish oil supplement.
The third reason I trust Nordic Naturals for my family is their continued dedication to providing a clean fish oil. They test every single batch of their oil for heavy metals, dioxins, and PCBs. The standard in the USA are pretty low, so they use the strict European standards for their comparisons. Nordic Naturals exceeds all standards consistently. If that isn’t enough, you can request the test results for any batch you buy. They don’t have anything to hide. (Nordic Naturals Test Results)
The fourth reason I like to use a fish oil supplement is that I don’t have to worry as much about the mercury content. As you probably know, mercury is a big thing to watch out for especially when you are pregnant or nursing. The fish oil supplement takes the guesswork out of that when you buy a high quality oil.
The fifth reason I like Nordic Naturals is that my son, who won’t touch fish, LOVES his softgels. He begs me for them every afternoon. I can feel good that he is getting the Omega-3s he needs for proper brain and eye development.
The sixth reason I like Nordic Naturals is because they believe in third party research. Check out the site they have put together that lists scholarly research on Omega-3s.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I am a huge fan of Nordic Naturals supplements. They aren’t right for everyone though. Talk with your healthcare provider to see if supplements are right for you and your family. If you decide you would like to try Nordic Naturals and your healthcare provider agrees that they would be beneficial, please enter the giveaway below. You can enter to win a bottle of Pro-Omega-D and a bottle of Prenatal DHA.
If you are interested in learning more about which Nordic Naturals Supplement would be right for you or a family member, please send me an email using the contact link at the bottom of any page. Once we chat, I will give you a code to get 15% off the MSRP of any Nordic Naturals supplement and free shipping!
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